SINGAPORE - President Tony Tan has written a valedictory letter to former Spanish King Juan Carlos I, who abdicated the throne on June 18, and a congratulatory letter to the new King Felipe VI.
King Felipe took the oath to serve the nation as he launched his reign on Thursday, with his wife, the new Queen Letizia, 41, by his side.
The 46-year-old former Olympic yachtsman leads a royal family tarnished by scandal after the 39-year reign of his 76-year-old father Juan Carlos, who signed his act of abdication with tears in his eyes at the Royal Palace the day before.
Letter from President Tony Tan:
His Majesty King Juan Carlos I The Kingdom of Spain
On behalf of the people of Singapore, I offer my best wishes as you step down from the Spanish throne in favour of Crown Prince Felipe.
Since your inauguration in 1975, you have been a stabilising force for your country, and a well-respected and beloved figure. Your instrumental role in guiding Spain through its peaceful transition from dictatorship to democracy cannot be overstated. Throughout your reign, you have protected Spain's interests with dignity, wisdom and foresight. I have no doubt that you will continue to do so in the years to come.
You have been a true and longstanding friend of Singapore. Your State Visit to Singapore in June 2009 with Queen Sofia marked a milestone in the warm relations between our two countries. I am confident that the ties between Singapore and Spain will continue to deepen under the able leadership of Crown Prince Felipe.
Please accept, Your Majesty, the assurances of my highest consideration.
TONY TAN KENG YAM
19 June 2014
His Majesty King Felipe VI The Kingdom of Spain
On behalf of the people of Singapore, I offer my warmest congratulations on your inauguration as the King of Spain.
Singapore and Spain enjoy warm relations which are underpinned by cooperation across trade, aviation, culture and research, as well as in multilateral forums. As gateways to Asia, and to Europe and South America respectively, there is much potential for Singapore and Spain to build on the multifaceted relationship between our countries and find new opportunities for collaboration.
I am certain that Spain will benefit under your able leadership, and look forward to working with you to enhance relations between our two countries. I wish Your Majesty every success as you embark on your new role.
TONY TAN KENG YAM